HOF Spotlight: Ollie Matson

08.06.2012

Ollie Matson
Name: Ollie Matson
Position: Halfback
Pro Career: 1952, 1954 – 1966
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles
College: San Francisco
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: A lone shining star in an otherwise dark abyss, Ollie Matson was often the sole bright spot for awful teams. Yet despite playing for just two teams with winning records during his brilliant 14-year career, and often being the opposing defense’s only target, Matson built an exceptional résumé. A quick-footed All-American who represented the United States in the 1952 Olympics, Matson was the number 1 draft choice of the basement dwelling Chicago Cardinals and was their supposed savior. When he was traded to Los Angeles for an unheard-of 9 players in 1959, he was once again labeled the potential deliverer for a fledging franchise. While Lady Luck was never Matson’s teammate, he competed to his fullest year in and year out and was a six-time Pro Bowl and All-NFL honoree.

Career Stats: 171 games played; 5,173 rushing yards; 40 rushing TDs; 3,285 receiving yards; 23 receiving TDs; 3,746 kickoff return yards; 6 kickoff return TDs; 119 passing yards; 595 punt return yards; 3 punt return TDs; 1 fumble recovery TD, 3 INTs

1952 Bowman #127

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #127. Along with fellow University of San Francisco alumnus and 1972 Hall of Inductee Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson was featured on his rookie card before ever playing a down of professional football, something not nearly as common as today. There are not a lot of copies of this card listed on eBay, but prices range from about $50 to $499. Buying vintage can certainly be a lot of fun, especially for older collectors or football history buffs. Just always be aware of what you’re buying as lots of counterfeits and reprints do exist, especially for a legendary set like the 1952 Bowmans.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Gino Marchetti

07.30.2012

Gino Marchetti
Name: Gino Marchetti
Position: Defensive End
Pro Career: 1952 – 1964, 1966
Team Affiliation(s): Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts
College: San Francisco
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: If one man struck fear into the hearts of professional quarterbacks during the 1950s and early 1960s, that man would have to be Gino Marchetti. Still considered one of the greatest defensive ends of all time, Marchetti was a fierce competitor with a knack for squelching rushing plays and even greater ability to disrupt an opponent’s passing attack. Marchetti was named to a then-record 11 straight Pro Bowls, although he was forced to miss one with a broken leg, and was named to nine straight All-NFL teams. After his career ended, he still collected accolades as he was named the top defensive end of the NFL’s initial 50 seasons.

Career Stats: 161 games played; 13 fumble recoveries; 2 fumble recovery TDs; 1 receiving TD (his only professional reception); 1 safety; 1 INT

1952 Bowman #23

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #23. Even as an unproven rookie, Gino Marchetti had the attention of the masses and was included in the now legendary 1952 Bowman set. There are surprisingly few copies listed on eBay and the average price seems to be just north of $100. For a rookie card of one of the greatest defensive ends of all time, that seems like a sweet deal to me. When looking to purchase a 1952 Bowman football card, keep in mind that there is a Large and a small set. Also, as with all vintage sets, there are lots of graded copies available along with the usually lower-priced raw cards. Decide what you like best before you start buying so you can have some focus and continuity in your collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Lamar Hunt

07.23.2012

Lamar Hunt
Name: Lamar Hunt
Position: League Founder, Owner
Pro Career: 1959 – 2006
Team Affiliation(s): Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
College: Southern Methodist
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: What do you do when you’re a 26-year-old who is frustrated in trying to obtain an NFL franchise? Establish a new rival league. That’s just what Lamar Hunt did in 1959 when he helped create the American Football League to challenge the NFL’s stronghold on professional football. A year later, he established the Dallas Texans franchise, which was eventually moved to Kansas City and changed its nickname to the Chiefs. Hunt fought vehemently for the AFL’s survival and spearheaded a total equality merger with the NFL in 1966. His tireless efforts with the new league and the successful franchise he operated as a solid backbone of that league helped forever change the landscape of professional football and formed the NFL as we know and love it today.

1990 Swell Greats #40

Featured Card: 1990 Swell Greats #40. While visionary founders and owners like Lamar Hunt have perhaps the greatest impact on the sport, they are often overlooked in the popular esteem. As such, Hunt does not have an official rookie card, but has been honored in many HOF-focused card sets, such as this junk wax era gem. Current eBay prices are obviously very low for this type of card and would make for an economical addition to any HOF collection.

 
 

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Norm Van Brocklin

02.06.2012

Norm Van Brocklin
Name: Norm Van Brocklin
Position: Quarterback
Pro Career: 1949 – 1960
Team Affiliation(s): Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles
College: Oregon
Induction Class: 1971
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: Quarterbacks do not like to share the spotlight, especially amongst their own teammates. But that is just what Norm Van Brocklin had to do when he joined the Rams in 1949 as they already had future fellow HOFer Bob Waterfield. Despite splitting time with another great tosser, Van Brocklin won the NFL’s passing crown in 1950 and 1952 (he won a third in 1954 after he was given full time QB status). In 1951, Van Brocklin once threw 554 yards in a single game and later connected with another fellow HOFer Tom Fears for a 73-yard touchdown to give the Rams their only title since the their move to L.A. When “the Dutchman” was traded to Philadelphia in 1958, he again built a winning tradition and won the NFL championship in 1960, becoming the only man to defeat a Vince Lombardi-led team in a championship game.

Career Stats: 140 games played; 1,553 for 2,895 passing (53.6%); 23,611 passing yards; 173 passing TDs; 178 INTs; 11 rushing TDs; 22,413 punting yards (42.9 avg).

1951 Bowman #4

Featured Card: 1951 Bowman #4. The Bowman Gum company picked just the right year to give Norm Van Brocklin his rookie card as the great passer dominated opponents and helped lead his Rams to the NFL championship. As with a lot of vintage rookie cards, there is a wide range of conditions, grades, and prices from which to choose if looking to add this card to your collection. Current market prices generally fall between $150 and $300. There is one listing for a PSA 9 with a heart-burn producing $55,000 price tag. You definitely want to decide what your focus will be before you get too deep into building a HOF collection. There are lots of other Van Brocklin cards available, many of which will not break the bank.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Y.A. Tittle

01.30.2012

Y.A. Tittle
Name: Y.A. Tittle
Position: Quarterback
Pro Career: 1948 – 1964
Team Affiliation(s): Baltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants
College: Louisiana State
Induction Class: 1971
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: A model of perseverance, Y.A. Tittle played 14 years of professional football before he finally tasted the sweetness of consistent victory. Tittle compiled impressive personal statistics during his stints in Baltimore and San Francisco, yet championship caliber competition eluded him. When he was traded to the New York Giants in 1961, that all changed. Despite not winning the overall NFL championship, Tittle led the Giants to divisional titles in each of his first three seasons in New York. In all, Tittle was named the NFL’s MVP in 1961 and 1963, All-NFL in 1957, 1961, 1962, and 1963, and played in seven Pro Bowls.

Career Stats: 178 games played; 2,118 for 3,817 passing (55.5%); 28,339 passing yards; 212 passing TDs; 221 INTs; 999 rushing yards; 33 rushing TDs.

1950 Bowman #5

Featured Card: 1950 Bowman #5. Y.A. Tittle’s official rookie card coincides with his debut in the NFL as the Baltimore Colts were still in the AAFC for his first two professional seasons. This undersized (by today’s standard) set featured airbrushed colors on B&W photography. Current market prices are generally over $200 but only a few exceed $500. There is one PSA 9 listed for a staggering $40,000. One note of caution for this cards is that there have been reprints produced, so be sure you know exactly what you’re buying, especially if shopping online.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Andy Robustelli

01.23.2012

Andy Robustelli
Name: Andy Robustelli
Position: Defensive End
Pro Career: 1951 – 1964
Team Affiliation(s): Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants
College: Arnold College
Induction Class: 1971
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: Perhaps the epitome of draft sleepers, Andy Robustelli went from being a 19th-Round pick to a Hall of Famer. When the Rams didn’t have room for him as an offensive end, he went all out on the defensive side of the ball and became one of the greatest D-Ends to ever play the game. A superb pass rusher, Robustelli was named to seven Pro Bowls and seven All-NFL teams. In 1962 as a member of the Giants, he was awarded the NFL’s top player by the Maxwell Club, an honor typically bestowed upon offensive studs. Despite playing for the losing team in six championship games, Robustelli did taste success with his two league championship victories, including 1951 as a highly involved rookie. Robustelli recently passed away at the age of 85.

Career Stats: 175 games played; 22 fumble recoveries; 2 fumble recovery TDs; 1 receiving TD; 2 INTs; 2 INT TDs.

1952 Bowman #85

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #85. As a member of the 1951 Champion L.A. Rams, Andy Robustelli didn’t have to wait long to get his official rookie card. The 1952 Bowman set was released with two variations, a large and small set. Based on current market prices, the large set seems to be the more popular amongst collectors. The prices for this particular card tend to run in the $50 – 150 range. As always, there is a token much-higher-than-anything-else listing with a sticker price $1,750 for a PSA 8. This card comes from one of the more desirable and recognizable vintage football card sets and would be a great addition to a HOF focused collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


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